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Land Rover Discovery face-lift includes the revamping of the several features, to render some levels of luxury.


By Jude Gaya

The Discovery’s biggest competition emanates from within its own stable in the form of the new Defender. Land Rover has, therefore, looked to further differentiate the two by repositioning the Discovery as a premium offering.

Land Rover Discovery face-lift includes the revamping of the several features, to render some levels of luxury, including air suspension as standard fitment, which endows the new-look Discovery with a composed – and eminently comfortable, ride quality.

To meet stricter European union EU emissions standards, new straight-six turbo-petrol and turbo-diesel engines have been installed. Easiest to spot is the technology updates inside the Discovery, with the same Pivi Pro infotainment system – that’s on current Jaguars, taking centre stage on the premium SUV’s fascia.

Of course the upgrade has pushed the Discovery price range to a premium over the likes of the Volvo XC 90, BMW X5 and the Audi Q7.

There’s no doubt that the Discovery offers genuine dual-purpose ability, even if this generation model looks a little softer on the edges than its predecessors. It’s the most capable SUV in its segment across varied road surfaces and terrains. In a nutshell, the Discovery is the only premium SUV that you would actually consider taking on extended off-road trips. Yet, the standard air suspension equally enhances the model’s on-road abilities too, by minimising body roll without compromising ride quality.

In terms of handling dynamics, the Discovery is nowhere as nimble as a BMW X5 or Audi Q7, but it’s not a wallowing hippo on the tarmac either. And it’s more composed on-road than its Defender sibling yet it is a big SUV. Such lofty levels of on-road comfort make the Discovery well suited for undertaking arduous journeys.

Land Rover has made it its quest to make off-roading as hassle-free as possible with every new iteration of SUV it produces. The Discovery has built-in Terrain Response – you activate it by pressing the rotary dial in the centre console, then waiting a second for it to raise up and then swivelling it to select the mode that matches the terrain you intend to tackle. Low range is easily selected with a simple press of a button beneath the rotary dial. The result is a luxuriously capable off-roader currently on the market.

The introduction of the new 11.4-inch Pivi Pro touchscreen infotainment system in the face lifted Discovery yields improvements in connectivity options, as well as the speed with which the hardware responds to inputs. The glass screen and hi-res display lift the cabin ambiance and gives the fascia a more contemporary look.

What is more, the Discovery is billed as a 7-seater that can actually accommodate 7 adults, in absolute comfort. Seats are folded electrically via switches near the respective pews or via a cluster of switches located in the load bay.

The electric tow-bar and electrically deployable tailgate are useful with the latter capable of holding 300 kg, which is more than useful for having impromptu boot picnics. Speaking of the load bay, it’s no less than massive and, with all the rear seats folded down, you have access to the largest utility space in the segment – 2,500 litres.

The new 3.0-litre power unit is effective at moving the big Discovery around at a brisk pace. It produces healthy peak outputs of 221 kW and 650 Nm and it’s allied with a 48V mid-hybrid system, which recoups power when slowing down and then redeploys it as torque to assist the Discovery when it accelerates from a standstill. It’s a very quiet motor; in fact, all you really hear from inside the cabin is a hint of wind noise.

An abundance of overtaking acceleration is a real strength of the new engine – you don’t get that kick of low-down torque that tapers off quickly, which can leave you a bit exposed if you’re overtaking at speed. The acceleration is consistent and it hauls along the big-rig Discovery with impressive speed. It’s easy to see how this work-horse claims a 0-100 kph time of 6.8 sec in acceleration.

Clients also have the option of ordering the petrol MHEV model, which utilises the P360 engine fitted with Mild Hybrid technology. The unit is capable of churning out 265 kW on the power spectrum and 500 Nm of torque. The British manufacturer claims an impressive 6.5 seconds for the 0-100 kph sprint.

The new Discovery is an expensive proposition, yet it represents one of the most luxurious ways to go off-road. The updates push it further up the premium ladder as it tries to make a case for itself above its Defender sibling.

If you’re wearing your sensible cap and looking for a large family car that executes everything from on-road journeys to off-road excursions in a more comfortable, connected and practical manner than any other offering in the premium SUV category, you should consider the Discovery on your short list. It is an expensive proposition, but it lacks for absolutely nothing. The official dealer is Inchcape Kenya, situated in Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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